Initially it seems laughably simple to cancel UK utilities and contracts. Rather than having to engage in a protracted negotiation about whether you’d like to keep them for less money/ in your new home/ to avoid upsetting the person on the other end of the phone, you simply deliver the killer line: ‘I’m moving to America’.
But capitalism did not succeed by giving up so easily. I have now had 3 (three) conversations with 3 (three) about ending my mobile phone contract. The best was last night, with a man who was so spectacularly patronising I could only laugh.
3: I am calling as a courtesy about your cancellation [so touching!]. I understand you are moving to the US but you will be visiting the UK very often?
Me: Not often. But yes, once or twice a year.
3: Very good, very good. Now, I am calling you to offer you a monthly deal of – let’s say £9 – well – something very cheap – maybe £8, £7. [is he making it up as he goes along? probably]
Me: Yes, but I will hardly ever be here, so I just want pay as you go.
3: But I think that is not a very good idea for you. It will work out very expensive. £10 only buys you 40 minutes. You will be better off on a monthly contract.
Me: [getting the giggles and deciding not to tell him that my basic arithmetic is fine, thanks, or that if he had actually looked at my phone records he’d see I’ll do almost anything to avoid long phone calls] Er, no, thanks…
Then today Virgin (landline phone, cable TV, broadband) overflowed with courtesy and courteously gave me a courtesy call to confirm everything we’d already agreed, but were obviously really double checking that I was leaving the country and they really couldn’t sell me anything else.
Thanks for that, Virgin – where was your courtesy 2 years ago when your helpline man told me that everything I couldn’t understand was ‘really very intuitive, madam’?